Japa- or mantra recitation- is the spiritual practice followed by Indians. It is the ancient method of spiritual elevation, praying, chakra elevation and healing purpose also.
Japa or mantra recitation, is the spiritual practice of devotedly repeating a mantra, generally a specified number of times, such as 9, 27 or 108, often while counting on a strand of beads, called a japa mala, while conscientiously concentrating on the meaning of the mantra.
The repetition should be done peacefully, with stable mind and not hurriedly. This brings merit, to the devotee. It should not done hurriedly which demonstrate ignorance of the person. Such casual, nonchalant negligence and disregard for contemplative traditions brings demerit no benefit can be had through it.
As you know sound waves are longitudinal waves. There are two forms of sound waves compression and rarefaction. The sound is formed when the longitudinal waves are compressed and expands alternatively by the disturbance created by the tongue to the part of mouth. It then travels in the atmosphere and the other person listen. Imagine you have just entered in the room where the quarrel was going on but when you entered it was stopped a minute before and everybody was normal but still you feel something wrong in the atmosphere – this is because of the vibes present in that atmosphere. Similarly you feel good when a happy discussion would take place. Therefore, by Japa – repeatedly saying the same mantra number of times create vibes around you. Repetition makes your sound travel for longer distance in the surrounding. That is why it is suggested to perform japa peacefully so that you are able to create the waves to a longer distance from you.
Lord Krishna says in the Bhagvat Gita
Of all the Vedas I am the Sama Veda!
Of all the Yagnas I am the Japa yagna!!
Japa is a form of devotional worship, invocation, prayer, praise, adoration, meditation and direct, experiential communion. Unless we are actually in a state of Samadhi (total absorption), which is rare for most people, Japa provides a means to disengage from our racing thoughts and our memories of the past- mostly the
The repetition of positive, uplifting, spiritual mantras over and over again lifts consciousness and causes the muladhara chakra [ in the beginning ] to spin clockwise. We feel uplifted. During the japa the chakra gets opened up one by one and the sadhak is blessed by its power and gain benefits too. each chakra has its own function.
Life does not look so bad, and neither does the past. A sense of forgiveness comes and the future looms bright. The past is forgiven and forgotten. Japa can be done by everyone. However for anushthaan certain conditions are mentioned.
There are three ways by which one can do Japa:
1. Vachik - recitation by speech- it is not a fix rule that how loud your speech should be - however, the words are clearly spoken and heard by the other person who is sitting nearer to you. The benefit of this method of japa is that your mind becomes stable and you are able to concentrate on japa.
2. Upamshu - soft recitation-it is the next step of the japa method. It is not possible to recite the Japa in loud voice anytime and everywhere. Upamshu Japa can be done without disturbing others.
3. Manasik - within the mind- It is the highest level of the Japa method. It is said that Upamshu Japa is 10% stronger than Vachik Japa and the Mansik Japa is 10% stronger than Upamshu Japa. It is for experts who are stable minded. When your mind is not restless by other thoughts. There you may feel rhythmic breathing and mind is in state of bliss.
Many times people are attracted by the power of Mansik Japa as it is the strongest of all these but it is possible to get distracted or go into sleep when you are not fully equipped by the control of the stability of the mind. So, it is suggested not to get attracted by the power of the Mansik Japa and one should perform the Japa which is suitable and are able to perform it completely without any distraction. Then you will certainly get benefit by the power of Japa.
Benefits of Japa are on all the three level of body. Physically - it energizes or tone the physical system making it working properly [basically by activating the endocrine system of the body]. Mentally - to remove depression or obstacles or even mental blocks strengthening the mental power of the person. Spiritually - It activates chakras that helps to attain Siddhi, self- development/ specific areas of growth(strengthening the inner-personality by projecting positive powers inwards; over-coming and also eliminating negative traits.